Monthly Archives: June 2012

Summertime Skin Care

Summer is finally here!  We love the lush green grass, warm days, abundant sunshine, and a chance to wear our lightweight, cool summer clothes.

Summer also presents a need to adapt our skin care regimen to the season.  First and foremost, wearing an effective broad spectrum sunblock or sunscreen is vital to a healthy and younger looking complexion. Ultraviolet rays from sunlight cause most of the aging of our skin, and shielding your skin from that radiation is the single best and most effective means of preventing future lines and wrinkles.  Why is this? Because UV rays zap both your collagen and your elastin. Collagen is the skin’s foundation and when it thins, wrinkles appear – just as a thin piece of paper will wrinkle more easily than thick paper. You can build your collagen levels with a dedicated skin care regimen, but this also includes not losing it in the first place.

Now, about that tan. There is actually no such thing as a “safe tan”, and one of the greatest dangers for your skin, not just because of skin aging, but increased risk of melanoma and other skin cancers, is the commercial tanning bed. They are NOT safe.  Instead, opt for a paraben-free self tanner that can give your skin the same appealing, summery glow – safely.

Because the summertime higher humidity helps keep skin moisturized, there is a tendency among consumers to cut back on their skin care regimen during the summer months.  Hydrated skin looks softer and smoother, so we sometimes scale back on the two other mainstays of a proper anti-aging regimen – exfoliation and collagen-building wrinkle creams.

By the time we reach 50 years of age, our skin has lost much of its collagen, so just because our skin is moist and looking a little better from the higher summer humidity, we simply can’t afford to let up on the task of using either peptides or retinol to help reverse some of the age-related collagen loss. Be sure your skin care products are responsibly formulated with no harmful ingredients or toxic preservatives.

The rise of melanoma can be prevented

Melanoma is the deadly kind of skin cancer – the kind that can metastasize (migrate through the body).  Not too long ago, melanoma was uncommon. In 1930, only one in 1500 individuals would get melanoma. By 1980, this number had increased to 1 in 250. Today,  we note with great concern that this number has risen to 1 in 60.

The culprit isn’t difficult to find.  The group most likely to get melanoma is young women who get exposed to the intense ultraviolet rays of artificial tanning beds.  This is completely preventable.

Besides contributing to skin cancer, ultraviolet radiation, whether from tanning beds or sunlight, causes most of the aging of our skin. Up to 80%, in fact.

So, you should use a good paraben-free broad spectrum sunscreen every day – even if you’re not tanning at the beach, and even on cloudy days. This is because the effects of sunlight are cumulative over your entire lifetime. UV rays are also invisible, so on an overcast day, just because it’s not as bright, there are still a lot of UV rays penetrating your skin.

But you don’t have to be pale, either. There are some excellent, non-toxic sunless tanning lotions on the market to give you that golden skin glow – safely.